It was heartening to read your March 20 editorial “All aboard, Ohio,” which encouraged Ohio to remain in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission Compact.
In a $7.6 billion state transportation budget, funding for public transit is about $107.6 million over two years, to serve the 13 percent of the driving-age population in Ohio that does not drive. The $15,000 yearly compact membership fee is a drop in the bucket to remain in the race to provide higher-speed passenger rail across the Midwest.
As your editorial noted, Illinois and Michigan are leaps and bounds ahead of Ohio in providing upgraded passenger service.
The Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association is working with the statewide rail-advocacy group All Aboard Ohio to connect with local political and business entities to promote and establish a funding base to increase passenger rail service throughout northern Ohio. Support is growing, as is awareness of the need to provide upgraded passenger rail services.
Too many lawmakers have ignored our communications not only about remaining in the compact, but also about increasing funding for public transit.
But we intend to continue to move forward, educating the public and gathering support to increase the number of passenger trains and their speed across northern Ohio.
Chairman Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association